Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Plea for the Book-lovers

Since andrew eldritch and aa were asking people to spot a book or two for them, I thought I should put in my request.

I remember seeing a hardcover of this before in National Bookstore but-- not being well-versed in the field of speculative fiction yet-- I put it down. However, the cover's stayed with me throughout these years and when I found out the author was actually fantasist Paul Witcover*, I rued my ignorance then. Especially when I discovered it came out only in hardcover and is now quite hard to find-- much more second-hand. Yes, there are some available online but the cost! the cost!

*Interesting triva: Witcover also wrote, together with a fave author of mine Elizabeth Hand, a comic book for DC called Anima.

(I also have to admit I once saw a hardcover of George R.R. Martin's first volume of A Song of Fire and Ice, A Game of Thrones, but didn't get it. Years after, I found out that such copies are now considered exceedingly rare and are worth a pretty penny on the book market. Bloody shit.)

In any case, this is Waking Beauty:

What is Beauty?

To the men of the Hierarchate, it is death...and worse than death: A scent that rises each evening from the depths of the forest called Herwood, luring them to eternal damnation.

To the women of the Hierarchate, Beauty is a rival, an enemy to be fought tooth and nail. Each night, the women bind their men, plugging their nostrils to protect them from the evil scent and keep close watch over their sleep.

In this astonishing first novel, part parable, part fantasy and all erotic adventure, Paul Witcover transports readers to an awesome world where the visionary and the voluptuous are at war. It is a world deeply strange and strangely familiar, a new literary landscape lying somewhere between the fabulous realms of Anne Rice and Salman Rushdie.

Talk about alluring, yes?

So, if anyone finds a copy (or has one), I'd be willing to shell out some hard-earned money for this. In return, I promise to keep an eye out for stuff any book-lover is on the look-out for.

Pretty please?

Update: Of books I've seen in the wilds of second-hand bookshops, these include

(1) Wild Cards book 1, one of the best concept anthologies around edited by George R.R. Martin, mass market paperback

(2) Tales of Old Earth, a short-story collection by Michael Swanwick, hardbound

(3) Syrup by Maxx Barry, an earlier effort by a really funny SF writer, hardbound


sky said...

Browsed through Booksale again yesterday and I can easily relate to the specfic newbie thing. I got Kurt Vonnegut's Welcome to the Monkey House and The Best of J.W. Campbell but didn't dare venture into authors I still don't know (Remember the Margaret Atwood I texted you before? Can't find The Handmaiden's Tale anymore. Oh if only).

But I will get there, time (and loadsa money) willing.

banzai cat said...

Oooh, is that John W. Campbell? So are those old SF stuff? So what else did you spot but didn't get?

Also, do you want me to spot you The Handmaiden's Tale?

P.S. I still have your Neuromancer.

sky said...

Yep. John W. Campbell. Almond-eyed aliens. Real pulp sci-fi.

I'll join in the search for your Witcover, but what if more than one turns up?

Let's schedule Neuromancer sometime. I've been reserving the weekends anticipating travels.

Der Fuhrer said...

If I am able to buy A Game of Thrones, we must meet. It's only available for 179 in NBS Subic

Der Fuhrer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Der Fuhrer said...

PS. Has any of you been able to spot a copy of The Satanic Verses? I heard it's banned in the Phil.

I spotted a copy of The Handmaid's Tale at NBS here and at the bargain bin at a local supermarket for only Php 70

Eldritch00 said...

I'll keep an eye out for this, BC. Incidentally, it took me a mind-boggling six bookstore visits to finally find a pristine hardcover of The Throat: thank you, Books for Less StarMall!

(Well, Books for Less near Pearl Drive had a copy, too, but that one cost more than the one I ended up buying...despite being in a dilapidated state--no exaggeration!)

What does your friend AA want? I'll keep an eye out for the title as well.

Eldritch00 said...

der fuhrer, I don't think it's banned here. I used to see tons of copies of it. I'll keep an eye out as well.

Anonymous said...

sky: Wow. Now that's a great buy. Old school SF indeed.

Hey, anytime. I still owe you for not bringing it last time in Greenhills. Heh.

fuhrer: WHHHAATT?!? Is it a silver-cover hardbound copy of A Game of Thrones? (See the added pix.)

Here's an indicator on how much the silver cover copy costs:

US$150-US$300. Damn.

As for Satanic Verses, yep, there a lot of copies available though I haven't seen a second-hand one yet. Mostly new stuff. Interested?

eldritch: Hehe good for you. That B4L Starmall actually had some good stuff. I remember seeing Harlan Ellison's unfilmed screenplay of I, Robot there. Incredible. Still, will keep an eye out for other Straub books around for you. Unfortunately, lack of money has forced me to curb my Booksale hauntings for the moment. But tomorrow...ah! That's another story.

As for AA, he said he was looking for copies of John Banville. See here:

banzai cat said...

Dammit, that was me. Why didn't it register my name?

Anonymous said...

Witcover's book definitely came out in trade paperback. I own a copy.


skinnyblackcladdink said...

that's odd. but i find that it's an awkward, annoying truth: any book (such as Straub books and, apparently, Handmaid's Tale) can be found a dime a dozen at book sales and other second hand book shops... until you go to them looking specifically for them.

book sale dwendes?

Eldritch00 said...


While "book sale dwendes" wasn't the exact term that came to my mind (I think it was more "Me and my f**king luck"), I've been thinking about that selfsale phenomenon for the past couple of days throughout my bookstore trawling.

The unexpected joy of discovery in BookSale is an overwhelmingly enjoyable sensation, but so is the frustration when trying to find some of even the most common titles:

Discovering The Throat pretty much took my breath away, but since I don't want to pay full-price for John Le Carre's The Spy who Came in from the Cold, the disappearance of the countless copies that have been in BookSale branches for years is terribly irritating. At least his other novels are still available in large number...

Eldritch00 said...

Book Hunt Matters

BC, since GabrielM mentioned a TPB edition of the Witcover, would you also want me to keep an eye for that, or would you only want it in hardcover?

I'll keep an eye out for John Banville and Salman Rushdie for your friends, too.

Several Banvilles and Rushdies constantly appear on shelves, new and used, but not those specific titles (at least not lately in the case of The Satanic Verses, which I remember seeing a couple of times before in some BookSale branches).

skinnyblackcladdink said...

the best booksale moments usually come for me when i'm more "foraging" rather than "hunting"... although when you do go a-hunting and find what you're looking for, it's an awesome experience.

hm. reading that paragraph over, i realize what a geek i can really be.

banzai cat said...

gabem: Good grief! It did? Never saw indications and is a shame it never came out in mmpb.

Hehe I think you've found me out: main reason I hang out at your forums is for all the books you guys keep track.

skinny: What's the difference between "hunting" and "foraging"? But I sympathize. Granted when I go to Booksale, I usually go without any expectations unless it's to pick up something I saw earlier.

Btw, I got you the Barry Hughart, okay?

eldritch: Sure, any little bit helps whether hc or tpb. Though like I said, it's a veritable Loch Ness monster: always heard about but never seen. (Of course in my case, I've seen it once!)

And speaking of numbers, it's funny that I've seen lots of mmpb copies of Straub's Mystery around. For once, the book dwendes aren't paying coy.

Hmmm... dwarfs and monsters in bookshops. Sounds Lovecraftian!

Eldritch00 said...

If I were to hazard a guess, I think skinny distinguishes "hunting" and "foraging" with, respectively, looking for specific titles and just looking through the stock for anything that may turn up.

I would also guess that we often do a mixture of both, although when I was on my hunt for The Throat, I didn't spend that much time in the stores as soon as I was able to ascertain that they didn't have a copy.

Funny bit about your Loch Ness comment, by the way, since you seem to be the only one to have seen an actual copy here, I wonder if people start to see you as the village hermit who talks of things unseen! *chuckles* Don't worry, you can see me as the character who believes you and is seeking out evidence needed to show that you were right!

And yes, tons of paperbacks of Mystery around. None of Koko though, and I was nearly about to give up on the hardcover of The Throat and just settle for a paperback copy, but there weren't any around either.

What makes all this even more Lovecraftian is the element of dusty tomes that bear a lot of power between their pages. Driving us to insanity, too!

Dean said...

BC! The Swanwick hardcover for me, please. Will reimburse.

skinnyblackcladdink said...

bc: thanks! caught your comment on my blog, and sent you an e-mail. don't really know how to go about obtaining it from you though.

eld: spot-on on the foraging-hunting business.

the fact that there are a lot of comments by "eldritch00" on this thread make all these lovecraft references even creepier...

banzai cat said...

eldritch: Yeah, that sound about right. Though given the lack of horror titles in Books for Less and Booksale (in my experience), I gather you don't really find much fave books?

As the subtitle in my blog says, libri quosdam ad sciéntiam, álios ad insaniam deduxére! (Courtesy of Jeff Vandermeer's Leviathan of course)

dean: Hey man! Okay, will try to get it later. That's Old Earth, right? Do you already have Gravity's Angels?

Btw, have you ever tried Wild Cards? They're pretty good and they're about superheroes! :-)

skinny: Fired another email at you. Now I remember: I meet dodo at Gloria Jean's in Glorietta. Another time, I bought a book from this guy from Avalon auction and met him in Powerbooks Makati. Heh. Just tell me your sked and I'll match mine.

As for eldritch and creepy, hehe am sure he felt creeped out when I walked up to him in Booktopia. (Stalker!)

Der Fuhrer said...

BanzaI: Shit, no, it's a mas market paperback. So I guess you need the hardcover.

Do you know how much the Noli penguin ed is? Can you buy one for me then, we'll met. Can you also buy me that Cryptonomicon book you saw at Book sale? I'l pay you when we meet.

Der Fuhrer said...

I borrowed a copy of Satanic Verses. He told me that it's rare in the Phil. So hindi pala.

And do you guys have a copy is it Ellison's or Lovecraft's Scary Stories? I read about in in In-Print. It seemed realy good.

Eldritch00 said...


Ha! I can't believe I missed out on the user name I use!


Though given the lack of horror titles in Books for Less and Booksale (in my experience), I gather you don't really find much fave books?

Every once in a while, something turns up, like my Lebbons and Piccirillis. When that happens, I have to fight the urge to let rip with a cry of triumph while I pump my fist in the air.

And maybe "creeped out" might be too strong a way of putting it when we met in Booktopia. It was more like a "Eh? Huh?" reaction, at least until you introduced yourself!

Der Fuhrer:

And do you guys have a copy is it Ellison's or Lovecraft's Scary Stories?

I can't find my copy of In-Print, but was that H.P. Lovecraft's Favorite Weird Tales? If so, it's a good selection of "must-reads."

I didn't buy it, because I have copies of most of the stories, but if you don't have them yet, that may be a good purchase for you (at least until H.P. Lovecraft's Book of Horror is reissued sometime later this year.

Eldritch00 said... be reissued this August as H.P. Lovecraft's Book of the Supernatural, I mean.

Dean said...

BC - I have neither Swanwick, so either or both would be great. I loved the first few Wildcards (I got them when they first came out, when the world was younger and brighter), all the way to H. Bloat. After that, it just fizzled out, then vanished.

aa said...

hey, bc. thanks for promoting. I've scouted booksales and national bookstore and powerbranch for john banville. my last hope is that of a friend coming home this sunday from raleigh, nc who i asked to buy me a copy in a borders/amazon shop nearby.

I'll see if I can find an ebook copy of Witcover. I have tons of ebooks but I still prefer reading the actual hard print.

Luke said...

Holy Cow, I thought I'd stumbled on a Sisters reunion debate. Wonderful.

M.R.M. said...

I sometimes see the Witcover show up at Powells. If I see it again, I'll snap it up for ya. :-)

banzai cat said...

fuhrer: Ah shucks. Sayang.

I don't know how much the Noli is but will check the next time. Probably around 300-500? Will also try to pick up the Cryptonomicon at the Booksale this evening and just finalize where to meet later, okay? :-)

eldritch: Heh. Funny enough, I didn't hesitate introducing myself because I thought you looked familiar. It was only a beat later that I realized I've seen your mug plastered all over your livejournal. :-D

Btw, have you ever heard of Edogawa Rampo? He's this Japanese horror-writer who loves Edgar Allan Poe so much he took his pseudonym from him. I remember a mention in the In-Print magazine but unfortunately, FB (nor any other bookstore) doesn't seem to have any books by him.

dean: Heh. I tried getting the hardcover in Cubao last Friday but damn traffic got me to the shop late. Will try again this week. At the least I can check to see if the other Swanwick is still there at Starmall.

As for Wildcards, wow, you actually reached that far (10th? 11th? in that series). What do you mean it fizzled out? You lost interest or you couldn't find anymore books? I know they're still continuing the series every now and then.

aa: Not a problem :-). Am thinking that finding it in Booksale is a bit hard so am placing my bet in Books for Less.

As for Witcover thanks :-). Though honestly, I've never been a fan of e-books. I like the feel of pages underneath my fingers.

luke: What's Sisters? :-) Sorry, that's what you get when you get a number of book-addicts in one place.

mahesh: Cool thanks! :-) I'll reimburse you if you find one!

sky said...

I only took two days' leave and it's getting longer and longer!

I saw a Neuromancer TPB in Booksale last weekend but I'm a man of honor so I'll wait for your copy. Anyhow I feel I'm in a win-win situation still since I have an electronic copy of Neuro.

Bookhunters (or is it foragers?) of the world unite! I'll join in the search though I don't have any object of search in mind as of this time.

banzai cat said...

Hehe thanks... er, I think. Though you're the only jetsetter blogger I know. ;-)

Eldritch00 said...

BC: I hate to admit this, but I can't quite remember what you like. I know your hair is closely shaved, so you may have to say hello first again next time!

I first heard of Edogawa Rampo when I rented a laser disc of The Mystery of Rampo simply because it seemed like a weird and quirky film. It was--and thankfully it was also pretty good--and I Googled afterwards to learn more about him.

My cousin lent me an anthology called My Favorite Horror Story: Harlan Ellison picks a Rampo story for his selection. Quietly creepy is how I would describe it.

I should check if there are translations of his work in print...

Also, I was just at StarMall today, and I can't find the Swanwick that was there. But Tales of Old Earth is still available at BookSale...Shopwise?

*laughs* I love the way we keep haunting the same shops.

Finally, Luke's reference to the "Sisters" might have something to do with my name, as they're a band whose vocalist calls himself...Andrew Eldritch. So now you know why I like this nick so much, apart from the Lovecraft connection.

Dean said...

BC - No worries. Just being opportunistic LOL. Re: Wildcards, yup, bought nearly every volume as it came out (along with the other "mosaic"/shared world thingie, Thieves' World). After a while, Wildcards just lost... steam, for me.

Der Fuhrer said...

Banzai: I'll try to go to Cubao/Recto this weekend. Is that okay?

Thanks a bunch. Yeah, I've prepared at least 1000 for the books.

Maybe you can educate me about SF when we meet. Heheh. Can't wait.

Oh, I'll also be meeting with Nick/Zone so that should be interesting.

That In-Print article from the Romulos is quite interesting. I'll also try to snag a copy of The Woman in Dunes by Kobo Abe. That ism, if I'm not broke after foraging Booksale.

Any directions on how to get to Cubao from Recto?

banzai cat said...

eldritch: Don't worry, was using my fake mustache disguise. ;-)

As for Rampo, yeah, it seems like one of those mythical stories again. Oh well...

And 'haunting' is right. Good thing we've met each other though; I might have thought we were living in parallel universes!

Dean: Was in Star Mall yesterday and it seems like the Swanwick there has disappeared. Will try to drop by at Cubao to snatch the other one. Sorry man!

(That's one thing I hate about Booksale: their rotating stock ensures if you don't get it now, it might disappear the next time you're there.)

And does that mean you didn't get the new Thieves World collection?

Likewise, if fuhrer's reading this, the nice copy of NeaL Stephenson's Cryptonomicon in Books for Less is gone but there's a small somewhat battered TPB in Booksale Starmall worth 175 bucks. Now I wouldn't mind getting that for you but I was somewhat put off by its miserable state. To put it bluntly: at 175 bucks? You've got to be kidding. Will try to see if I can find a better copy for you.

banzai cat said...

Yipe! You just beat me from posting, fuhrer!

Sorry, the Crypto book in Books for Less was gone already. Would you be interested in a bad-condition (quite battered) small TPB? If you're a collector, you might not like it.

Also, the Noli ed costs 700 bucks but since I have a discount card with PB, I can probably get it around 500. Hah!

From Recto to Cubao, I suggest you just take the LRT 2. It's quick, it's easy and it will land you directly at the Gateway Mall.

As for educating, hah! I don't teach but I only evangelize! ;-)

Der Fuhrer said...

Haha. I'm just that fast.

I just want to read it. As long as it's readable and I don't get some kind of virus while reading it.

I'll clean your shoes if I must! Haha. Thanks.

Thanks for the directions!

email me your number at

I'm going to be late for duty. Haha.

banzai cat said...

Hehe done then. Will try to pick it up the books this week.

And don't worry about shoes: I wear rubber shoes most of the time. ;-)

Eldritch00 said...

Der Fuhrer: Kobo Abe's book is relatively easy to find in Powerbooks, etc. I've been curious about that and several other Japanese authors but haven't yet had the opportunity to indulge my curiosity.

Banzai Cat: Despite having met you, let's keep the parallel universe and haunting analogies intact. I think they're great!

I never had much of that kind of trouble with Booksale though. I mean, I've been quite fortunate that when I decide to come back for a title, it's still there. At least most of the time.

Speaking of hauntings/multiverses:

I saw a copy of that Hughart you mentioned in the other entry in BookSale Centerpoint. Was there were you also saw it? It's still there.

And the Swanwick in Cubao is still there, in the same spot.

And I saw that cruddy copy of Cryptonomicon in Booksale Starmall too. I hope the thickness of that book doesn't cause it to fall apart when Der Fuhrer finally reads it.

Eldritch00 said...

And oh, the same BookSale in Cubao with the Swanwick book has a TPB of Steph Swainston's The Year of Our War (I hope I got the author and title right, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about). It's on the TPB shelf behind the mass market paperbacks. I figure you'd be interested in that if you don't have it already.

Der Fuhrer said...

Banzai: Can we meet this saturday 1pm at FB Gateway?

skinnyblackcladdink said...

arg. bridge of birds appears to manifest only to those who don't look for it. ah well...

banzai cat said...

eldritch: Heh. Have a copy already and wasn't all that impressed by that book. I think I saw that copy too.

fuhrer: Sure. Will email you. :-)

skinny: Hehe I suppose it would be a bloody farce already for me to tell you that I've found a 3rd copy?

Eldritch00 said...

BC: Oh, not so good, eh? What a pity, especially given all the attention its gotten.

Skinny: Where do you live? Maybe you can drop by those branches sometime.

banzai cat said...

eldritch: I don't know; I guess the writing and the story didn't really jive with me though the concepts were pretty cool. De gustibus non disputandum I guess.

banzai cat said...

Er, that's de gustibus non est disputandum.

*typo-correcting cat*

Eldritch00 said...

As much as I like using Latin phrases--especially that one--I must confess I always have to Google it just to be sure. I really should just take a minute every day for a week trying to memorize it. I'm sure I could do that!